The arsenite oxidase genes (aroAB) in novel chemoautotrophic arsenite oxidizers

E. D. Rhine, S. M. Ní Chadhain, G. J. Zylstra, L. Y. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Six novel bacterial strains were isolated from the environment which can oxidize arsenite [As(III)] to the less mobile form arsenate [As(V)] coupled to CO2 fixation under either aerobic or denitrifying conditions. PCR primers were designed to the conserved molybdopterin domain of the large subunit of arsenite oxidase in order to identify the arsenite oxidase genes from these isolates. The amino acid sequences for the arsenite oxidases reported here were 72-74% identical to that of strain NT-26, the only previously reported autotrophic arsenite oxidizer. Indeed the autotrophic arsenite oxidase genes form a distinct phylogenetic group, separated from previously described heterotrophic arsenite oxidase genes, with the exception of the heterotroph Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The arsenite oxidase primers described here represent a powerful culture-independent tool to assess the diversity of arsenite oxidase genes in environmental bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 16 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Arsenite oxidation
  • Autotrophic
  • Chemoautotrophic
  • Diversity
  • PCR primers


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